Determine if your complaint is about advertising or promotion
It is useful to know if your concerns relate to an advertisement for alcohol or the promotion of alcohol within broadcasted TV and radio programmes.
Click on the flowchart below to help you work out the best process.
Is my complaint about advertising or TV/radio programming? Do I make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority or Broadcasting Standards Authority?
What types of complaints does the Broadcasting Standards Authority cover?
Making a complaint to the relevant Broadcaster
If you feel that a TV or Radio programme has breached the relevant BSA Code, you must FIRST make a formal complaint in writing to the Broadcasters within 20 working days after the programme was aired.
Determine if your complaint relates to the:
- Free-to-Air Television Code, please click here
- Pay Television Code, please click here
- Radio Code, please click here
You can find the list of Broadcasters here.
The BSA provides very clear and informative guidance on how to make a complaint to them. For more details about the complaint process, please click here.
Standard 7 applies directly to alcohol promotion, sponsorship, and advocacy. For more information read the commentary provided by the BSA. There may be other standards in the Codes which are also worth considering in your complaint.
Use the template below to help with writing your complaint.
Template to assist complaints about alcohol standards in programmes covered by the BSA Codes
Write your complaint. Use the template above and/or the blank complaint form below to help you. Be sure your complaint is sent to the correct broadcaster - not the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
When writing a formal letter, it is important for you to mark the correspondence: FORMAL COMPLAINT
Click here to download the blank formal complaint form provided by the Broadcasting Standards Authority
The BSA has provided a contact list of broadcasters in NZ, please click here
Allow enough time for your complaint to reach its destination within the 20-working day deadline if you are posting it. Each broadcaster may have an online form through which you can submit a complaint.
The Broadcaster will make a decision on your complaint
Once the broadcaster has received your formal complaint, they must make a decision within 20 working days (or 40 working days if extension is required). The broadcaster may uphold or reject your complaint, but they are not obligated to make their decision public or follow a particular course of action.
If you are not happy with the Broadcaster's decision
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can then refer your formal complaint to the BSA within 20 working days of the broadcaster’s decision (or within 60 working days of the broadcast if you have not received a decision).
The BSA will then decide if the programme breached the standards. A written decision will be sent to you and if you are not happy with the BSA decision, you may appeal the BSA decision to the High Court within one month after you were notified of the decision. All decisions are posted online.